Navigating the journey to responsible production or sourcing of agricultural commodities can be a daunting prospect for companies. Whatever a company’s size, scale or geographic footprint, starting out on that journey involves bringing a lot of people along with you, establishing a broad understanding and buy-in, as well as developing deeper knowledge at certain levels.

Proforest supports companies through this journey within its ACRES framework. ACRES is the Proforest approach to Agricultural Commodity Responsible Production and Sourcing that guides companies through five steps:

  1. Strategy and policy
  2. Understand the supply base
  3. Plan interventions
  4. Engage within and beyond supply chains
  5. Monitor and report

We work throughout the entire supply chain, from growers and traders to retailers and brands, supporting companies in these five steps in both responsible sourcing and production. Whatever stage of the supply chain, our focus is on practical implementation, built on 20 years of practical experience working within supply chains, landscapes and across sectors. We share that practical experience in a number of ways, including training, developing tools, providing guidance and bringing people together to discuss implementation on the ground.

We have applied the five element approach of ACRES to a suite of commodity toolkits: Soy, Beef and Palm. Each toolkit is a guide to the various initiatives and tools available to help decouple commodity production and trading from deforestation, conversion of native vegetation and human rights violations. The Responsible Sourcing Toolkits, developed by Proforest, provide a practical, accessible resource for companies to use in training, developing strategy, and supporting implementation of commitments. They were made possible by partnerships with and funding from the Good Growth Partnership’s Demand Project, thanks to financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and co-funding from UK Aid from the UK government via its Forest Governance, Markets and Climate programme. We also acknowledge co-funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation through CDP, as well as a financial contribution from McDonald’s Corporation.

Visit the Soy Toolkit

Visit the Beef Toolkit

In addition, we have developed the Voluntary Monitoring Protocol for Cattle Suppliers in the Cerrado to contribuite to an alignment of the best socio-environmental monitoring practices for cattle purchases in the Cerrado Biome in Brazil. It sets a range of responsible sourcing criteria and parameters that companies can follow to ensure their supply chains are not linked with socio-environmental issues. All monitoring criteria uses publicly available data and the definition of what criteria should to be included was part of an extensive consultation process involving key stakeholders. The protocol was jointly developed by Proforest and Imaflora, building on Proforest’s experience designing and implementing beef sourcing policies in the Cerrado, and Imaflora’s experience of developing the Monitoring Protocol for Cattle Suppliers in the Amazon.

The Toolkits and the Cerrado Protocol are developed to provide a practical accompaniment to the Accountability Framework, to allow companies a methodical way of implementing the Framework’s indicator criteria.

Visit the Cerrado Protocol

The commitment to respect basic human rights (protected by international conventions) is the responsibility of all companies, regardless of their size, area of operation or location. In addition, there is a growing demand from various stakeholders such as customers, civil society, consumers, investors, and governments for companies to promote respect for human rights in their own operations and supply chain. Against this backdrop, and with the aim of supporting companies' efforts to meet their commitments to respect human rights, the Practical Guide for Human Rights Due Diligence in the Sugarcane Sector was developed. The Guide is aimed primarily at sugarcane producers and suppliers, seeking to implement practices that encourage respect for internationally recognised human rights.

The Human Rights Spotlight was jointly developed by Proforest and Imaflora, with resources from the Bonsucro Impact Fund, and the companies Nestlé, General Mills, Hershey's and Barry Callebaut.